Princesses and Fairytales is part of a series of short essays I wrote for my Creative Writing final senior year of college. There were 4 or 5 essays in total, and all were required to be autobiographical. This particular essay was the first in said series.
There’s something beautiful about childhood. Not to say the world was perfect then, but through the eyes of a kid it came pretty close. Shielded from the world’s harsh imperfections, I spent my first years as an unyielding optimist armed with an arsenal of endless smiles.
Like Narnia, these memories lie in an abandoned room, behind the doors of a great armoire littered with dusty knick knacks. If I rummage deep enough I can see the old house again, haunted and awkward yet somehow attractive as it sat perched above a pond. We would throw the herons stale pieces of bread in our backyard and I would stare with wonder at how tall and majestic they were from my five year old perspective. Despite their beauty I had a healthy fear of those piercing beaks and beady eyes. So I tossed them my last bits of bread and retreated to my daddy’s side. I was safe there. All my life, Daddy would be the white knight in my story, impervious to the evils that threatened what I thought was my perfect world.
I was a happy little tyke, spoiled with love and Disney painted dreams of princesses, ponies and high castles. I would grow up believing that lost princess mentality in which one day I would eventually be whisked away by a handsome prince. He would own a palace of course, filled with rainbow cookies, rushing waterfalls, mighty steeds and adventure. There we would fall in love and live happily ever after.
However, when we get older the world teaches us that those three fairytale words were merely the desperate desires of a dreamer longing for something better than reality. They say no story is entirely honest that ends with “happily ever after”. It’s just a copout ending written so that you don’t question what happened next.
Cinderella isn’t so charming when she runs off with the butler. Nor is Belle so lucky when she realizes her handsome prince didn’t shed tempers as well as he did fur. It’s sad how reality has a way of poking holes in the dreams of optimists.
Yet shame on the princess who built her dreams with glass, for nothing worth fighting for should ever be guarded by fragile walls.